Niti Aayog explores blockchain usage in education, health and agriculture

The Indian government's policy think tank, Niti Aayog, is testing waters to employ blockchain technology in education, health and agriculture, several media reports stated.

The top government think tank is developing a proof of concept to take advantage of the new technology in key sectors, a senior government official told The Economic Times on condition of anonymity.

The think tank along with blockchain startup Proffer, which was founded by MIT and Harvard graduates, held a blockchain hackathon from 10 November to 13 November 2017 at IIT Delhi, a report in YourStory said in November last year.

About 1,900 students from the IITs, MIT, Harvard University, UC Berkeley College of Engineering, and top engineering institutions around the world participated in the event. AgroChain, a blockchain-based marketplace that helps farmers and consumers through co-operative farming, bagged the first prize at the competition, the report added. The marketplace was developed by students from the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IIITM-K).

Niti Aayog has also been working on developing a country-wide blockchain network called IndiaChain which looks to reduce corruption and frauds, maximise transparency of transactions, report in November 2017 in technology news website Factor Daily had stated. The think tank is also expected to connect the blockchain infra to IndiaStack—the country's digital identification database, the report added.

Blockchain technology uses cryptographic tools to create an open and decentralised body of data, which can include banks transactions and the like. The data record can be verified by anyone involved in the transaction and information can be tracked via a secure network.

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